I'm so horribly behind in answering my fan-mails. Seriously I should be shot. I can only apologize (again), and promise (again) that I'll catch up soon. BUT I got two separate messages this morning that so filled me with glee and pride and triumph that I had to pause what I'm doing and very quickly share.
First was an e-mail from a fourteen year old Australian reader (Madeleine) who wrote to let me know that, due to how Christoper speaks to Wynter in the Moorehawke books, she now has 'very very high expectations of boys'
Second was from a reviewer in America who wrote to tell me that her daughter had come home and told her:
"So this kid in my class was being sexist... he said I'm a girl so I either have to get married and have babies or be a crazy cat lady. So I told him, 'I am not a slave to my belly, so f**k off!' And you know where I got that from? Moorehawke!"
I was so proud of my girl Thanks for the positively feminist influence on my preteen!
I can't tell you how thrilled I am with these messages. Wynter and Christopher's support for each other and the concerted effort they continue to make in understanding and accommodating each other's differences through out the books was so important to me and to the underlying themes of the Moorehawke trilogy - it thrills me when I find I've done it right.
We all want what we want from a fictional romance and there is no 'one size fits all' but in Moorehawke I wanted to portray two very different people who bring their own disparate yet complimentary strengths and experiences to a relationship and in so doing improve each other's lives. In so many stories of young love there is what is, for me, an unfortunate tendency to portray romance as being heightened and improved by conflict. It is as if the only way to prove that two people like each other is to show them fighting. As if somehow conflict and a struggle for dominance rather than support and communication are the vital ingredients in the recipe for true love (I dislike in particular the trope of a patient and accepting woman 'reforming' a surly male character into a 'good husband') To me conflict is naturally part of any relationship, its just not a 'romantic' part.
Wynter and Christopher's love is based on their compatibility. It doesn't manifest itself through displays of jealousy or prove itself via struggles over who can take the most abuse and keep on coming back for more. It is - as I have said - all about two very different people learning from each other's experiences and combining strengths to build a relationship which not only nurtures but also supports and encourages the growth and changes necessary as they move forward together through their often difficult lives.
That, of course, and teasing, and kissing, and hugs, and sex and laughter and all the truly great stuff that comes when you're comfortable and happy with the person you love and trust. Hurrah for true love, hurrah for supportive partners, hurrah for romance! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!